Some parents dream of having a gifted and talented child, but the reality of raising one may be more than parents bargain for. Parents say in many ways raising a child prodigy is equivalent to bringing up a special needs child who requires constant and unique attention.
Prodigies are able to function at an advanced adult level in some domain before age 12. "Prodigy" derives from the Latin "prodigium," a monster that violates the natural order. These children have differences so evident as to resemble a birth defect, and it was in that context that I came to investigate them. Having spent 10 years researching a book about children whose experiences differ radically from those of their parents and the world around them, I found that stigmatized differences -- having Down syndrome, autism or deafness; being a dwarf or being transgender -- are often clouds with silver linings.
Families grappling with these apparent problems may find profound meaning, even beauty, in them. Prodigiousness, conversely, looks from a distance like silver, but it comes with banks of clouds; genius can be as bewildering and hazardous as a disability.
Gifted children often have other abnormalities including obsessive compulsive disorder and Asperger's, Solomon wrote.
What does it really mean to have a gifted child and how can more attention on the subject affect the way our country offers gifted and talented support in schools and communities?
Solomon will join The Daily Circuit Tuesday, Dec. 4 to talk about his research. David Shenk, a correspondent for The Atlantic and the author of "The Genius in All of Us: New Insights into Genetics, Talent and IQ," will also join the discussion.
ON THE BLOG: The link between child prodigies and autism
Solomon discusses "Far From The Tree" at Macalester College Dec. 4
How do you raise a prodigy? (New York Times Magazine)
Parenting prodigies is less fun than it looks (New York Times)
Raising an accidental prodigy (Wall Street Journal)
The problem with child prodigies (The Takeaway)
How not to squash a prodigy (Big Think)